Written by Jasel Porto
A few days ago, he called me on the phone to tell me that he was in the Dominican Republic in the process of obtaining a US visa, and today I received the letter with his gospel. This way he can participate in one of the most important events in the world baseball game.
I’m talking about the legendary former bowler and coach from Pinar del Rio Juan Carlos Oliva López, who traveled this afternoon from Miami with his wife, Mirta Juana Ordaz after receiving his US visa in the morning.
Juan Carlos will be able to reunite with his brother Tony after many years without seeing each other, and this will happen at least at the same time that the former Minnesota Twins player will be officially inducted into the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, United States.
The ceremony will take place on July 24 and another stellar gardener will also be introduced to the upscale venue, such as the late Orestes “Minnie” Miñoso of Matanzas.
Of course, the event where other activities will take place from Saturday the 23rd will have a primary incentive beyond the Cuban environment, with the charismatic Dominican player David “Big Pape” Ortiz (the only one selected on this occasion by the regular committee).
The procedure for Juan Carlos and his life partner (44 years of relationship) was carried out by the twins in coordination with the Hall of Fame itself, but due to the current situation with the United States Embassy in Havana, the procedure had to be carried out in the Dominican territory.
Both will spend a few days in the so-called Capital of the Sun (in the Coral Gables area) before embarking on a trip to Minnesota, where his brother Tony has lived for decades.
Upon reaching the national series, he alternated between the tasks of junior and loyal, the latter aspect of which became the best in the country for several years. Even to the fullest extent of being a member of the national team with this responsibility despite the tremendous level that was present in Cuba.
His moment of stardom coincided with the stage when Pinar del Río ceased to be a weak province and became the most dominant of the entire island. It was a time when the standout crew of the show made, in addition to Oliva, such characters as Rogelio Garcia, Felix Pino, Maximiliano Gutierrez, Julio Romero, Jesus Guerra and others.
After retiring and leaving his impressive career as a thrower, the Consolación del Sur native began emerging as a throwing coach, with a regular presence in the national series and beyond Cuban borders.
It’s the first time Juan Carlos has traveled to the United States, and it couldn’t be more special than formalizing Tony as one of the “Immortals” of the best baseball game in the world.
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